Unican! Flash Fiction

Rodney Razzle, Syndicated Citizen Journalist

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Scoop time again, dear readers! And do I have something you can sink your teeth into! I was on my way back from my bi-annual pigmentation in Rio, when who did I run into at the heliport than… well you have to guess… (And stop cheating, if you looked below then it doesn’t count!)

Ok, I’ll tell you: Diego McAfferty, trillionaire CEO of GastroCorp! I won’t tell you what he was having done, but I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with ‘snows’. OMG! I’m helpless when it comes to good dish!

As we all know, GastroCorp is the world’s preeminent manufacturer of quality synthetic meat blends, dominating the market ever since the ‘I can’t believe it’s not blubber’ debacle six years ago. Well, I’m pleased to announce that their family of cultured meat products has just grown a little bigger.

This memorial day, grocery networks all across the hemisphere will begin shipping Unican!, GastroCorp’s synthetic unicorn flesh for human consumption. Diego was kind enough to share some thoughts with us while waiting for his departure clearance.

R.R.: Thanks for sitting down with me; I know my readers will be thrilled to be the first to read about your new product! Tell me, where did you first get the idea to produce synthetic Unicorn meat?

As a kid, during school trips to the Museum of Natural History, I remember seeing skeletons of all the animals that walked the earth years ago and wondering what they might have tasted like. Now for something as recently extinct as a bottle-nosed dolphin or a koala bear there’s more than enough data for IVMS (In Vitro Meat Synthesis) with hardly any embellishment… but, some of the more exotic flavors took a lot more research to bring to the dinner table. This is just another extension of those childhood dreams.

R.R.: I know everyone was hyped when you brought RexBurgers to the nets, though some purists criticize the hybridization with beef as lacking in authenticity.

I think our sales statistics speak for themselves. The fact is, lizard is far too stringy and the rex tendons were tougher than jerky. Combining T-Rex taste with bovine texture is was instrumental in putting IVMS back into the mainstream, as history has shown.

R.R.: So true! Alright, for my readers out there who aren’t paleontology buffs, could you give us a quick run-down on what a Unicorn was?

Unicorns, or Equus Unicornus as they’re known in the scientific community, were an endangered species that is believed to have gone extinct during the Dark Ages. Imagine, if you will, a larger than average horse, perfectly white, with a large pearlescent horn affixed to its forehead. These animals were biological goldmines, when they died their individual biological components—hair, bones, and especially the horn—were prized and sought after; so much so that there remains absolutely no fossil record of their existence. Among my associates it has been argued, quite successfully I might say, that Equus Unicornus was the first animal poached into extinction by man.

R.R.: And now your company is bringing that animal back into the world, one mouthful at a time! How exactly do you go about synthesizing the proteins of an animal without a fossil record?

That’s a trade secret, so I can’t get into all the technical mumbo jumbo, but the basic process is pretty intuitive. Much like RexBurgers, Unican is a hybridization of two different synthetic proteins. Only, this time, instead of combining a great flavor with a tried and true texture, we sought to use two animals with a clear genetic link to our target protein. Specifically, we ran the genes of a narwhale through our sequencer with a number of equestrian samples, cooked up a batch of patties from the most promising harvests, and took it straight to the consumer for testing.

R.R.: And Unican! is the taste-test winner?

Due to on-going litigation in an unrelated case, the findings of our consumer testing activities are part of a sealed record. What I can say is that the final product was a compromise, essentially selecting the highest rated taste that was also free from significantly adverse physiological reactions.

R.R.: Not to nerf the enthusiasm, but a lot of consumers won’t purchase synthetic seafood since the blubber recall six years ago. Are you concerned that involving marine DNA in your new product will scare off consumers?

We feel, as a company, that’s a battle that has already been fought and won. The public is very savvy when it comes to IVMS products. Also, the distinction between synthetic fish-proteins and sea mammals is widely acknowledged.

R.R.: Of course, who can forget your campaign in support of FlipperStix two years ago. I still have the jingle in my head… “Cow of the sea… Not the Man-ah-tee… Flipper, *dolphin noise* so good it jumps right on your plate!” I don’t suppose you’ll tell me how you manage that little trick either?

Another trade secret I’m afraid. Suffice it to say that, regardless of any distinction between source proteins, our company complies fully with all ISDA regulations pertinent to meat harvesting. When you open any GastroCorp product you can be assured that it is completely free of any naturally occurring contaminants, having never been exposed to sunlight or atmosphere until it arrives in your hands.

R.R.: I know I’m not the only one who finds that reassuring—

I’m sorry, it appears we’re going to have to cut this short. My flight is boarding.


Well, there you have it! Another scoop from your fastidious citizen journalist, Rodney Razzle. Upon my return to the RazzCave I found a care package from GastroCorp, including a couple free samples of Unican! I pureed some this afternoon and I have to say—it was to die for!!! There’s nothing to compare it to, not even SynthChicken. I’m going to do something totally selfless now, and give my last can as a prize to the winner of this week’s “Naughtiest Avatar” competition. ~R.R.

– flash fiction by David Hook

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